- Title: Some Italians say referendum is a waste of money as voting continues
- Date: 4th December 2016
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (DECEMBER 4, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FOUNTAIN OUTSIDE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIDENCE EU AND ITALIAN FLAG FLYING OUTSIDE PRIME MINISTER'S RESIDENCE CHRISTMAS FAIR IN PIAZZA NAVONA CAROUSEL IN PIAZZA NAVONA FAMILIES WALKING PAST CHRISTMAS STALLS IN PIAZZA NAVONA CHILDREN AT CHRISTMAS FAIR IN PIAZZA NAVONA PEOPLE NEAR FOUNTAIN IN PIAZZA NAVONA (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ROME RESIDENT, VITO DE PASQUALE, SAYING: "I hope that 'No' wins, because we need to vote for the lower and the upper houses (of parliament), we can't be indifferent about this important event, we need to vote 'No'." (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ROME RESIDENT, GRAZIANO LUPO, SAYING: "In my opinion it would have been better if this referendum hadn't happened. The money could have been saved and used for something much more important. Whether 'Yes' or 'No' wins, they (the politicians) always decide everything - they do what they want. So it would have been better not to have it." (SOUNDBITE) (English) BELGIAN TOURIST, JORNE DAVIS, SAYING: "I see that there are some more police on the street and also there's a lot of traffic and from my opinion on Sunday it should be less than in the week. I'm here since Thursday and there's more traffic than during the week, so maybe that's something to do about it." VARIOUS OF FOUNTAIN AND CAROUSEL IN PIAZZA NAVONA
- Embargoed: 19th December 2016 15:22
- Keywords: Italy referendum voting tourists Rome
- Location: ROME, ITALY
- City: ROME, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BGXBGN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Italians were voting on Sunday (December 4) in a referendum on constitutional reforms, with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi promising to resign if he loses the ballot.
If Renzi is defeated, he is expected to leave the Prime Minister's residence and go to President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinale Palace to hand in his resignation.
By noon on Sunday, 20 percent of citizens had voted, the Interior Ministry said, more than the 17 percent who had cast ballots by the same time in May 2014 for the European Parliament election.
All surveys published in the month before a blackout was imposed on November 18 put the 'No' camp ahead. Private polls have continued to be conducted in the last two weeks and bookmakers say 'No' remains the clear favourite to win.
Romans out Christmas shopping had divided opinions about the referendum.
"I hope that 'No' wins, because we need to vote for the lower and the upper houses (of parliament), we can't be indifferent about this important event, we need to vote 'No'," said Vito de Pasquale decisively.
Others thought the whole issue was a waste of time and money.
"The money could have been saved and used for something much more important. Whether 'Yes' or 'No' wins, they (the politicians) always decide everything - they do what they want. So it would have been better not to have it," said Graziano Lupo.
Tourists in the eternal city seemed disinterested in the crucial referendum but noted that the town was busier than usual.
The result of exit polls will be announced as soon as voting ends and the count begins at 11 p.m. (2200 GMT). After around 30 minutes, the first projections of the result will be announced on the basis of actual votes counted.
Financial markets and Europe's politicians fear victory for the opposition 'No' camp could cause political instability and renewed turmoil for Italy's battered banks, pushing the euro zone towards a fresh crisis.
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